Comic Book Bits: 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Using Pioneering 3D Technology; Chris Hemsworth On 'Thor'; Ray Stevenson May Return As 'The Punisher'; Summit Gets 'Crosshair'; 'X-Men' Anime; Stan Lee's Deposition

In case that mouthful of a headline didn't tip you off, we have a plethora of comic book movie news to sort through, so let's get cracking. After the break, you'll find an update on the new 3D technology being used for The Amazing Spider-Man, Chris Hemsworth's response to the first cut of Thor, news on Ray Stevenson's potential reprisal of the role of Frank Castle for the The Punisher franchise, final talks of Summit Entertainment acquiring the feature rights to the comic Crosshair, a teaser trailer, new images and a poster for the upcoming X-Men anime, and Stan Lee's deposition for the ongoing Kirby family vs. Marvel court case.

One of the big concerns when Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot was announced was that the film was going to be in 3D. With Avatar being one of the few live-action films to implement 3D properly, what sort of difficulties might be encountered when pairing a major blockbuster release with a director who's unfamiliar with the format (and the bulky, impractical camera set-up that it entails)? In the midst of all the costumed set photos and official images though, that concern seems to have fallen by the wayside. And lest its allowed to resurface once the trailer hits and proudly proclaims the film's multi-dimensional attribute, the film's DP has spoken out to quell any fears.

Turns out The Amazing Spider-Man intends to earn the superlative in its title by becoming the first movie to shoot using advanced 3D technology — specifically, the TS-5 Handheld Beamsplitter Rig — from 3ality Digital, whose camera systems were used for the pioneering 3D concert film U2 3D. The TS-5 is compact and lightweight, and also features wireless capabilities, allowing for maximum mobility and flexibility.

Spider-Man's director of photography John Schwartzman had this to say on the matter:

We tested virtually every product on the market and chose 3ality Digital because we were impressed by the compact size of the TS-5. You don't get the unwanted shadowing effects during shots that sometimes appear using other 3D rigs, and the lens changes only take a few minutes. We wanted a rig that would not only deliver the best quality and performance but also one that wouldn't delay the production, so we have all the benefits of a 3D picture and we're shooting to a 2D schedule.

Though I have faith in 3D as a format, it has to be used properly, and by a filmmaker who's actively engaged in the 3D shooting process. An easy-to-use camera rig is a vital step toward ensuring the ubiquity of 3D in Hollywood, but don't take that to mean the use of 3D in The Amazing Spider-Man is guaranteed to be flawless. The film still needs a director and crew with the tact and technological savvy to put it to good use. [The Hollywood Reporter]

In case you were curious what those who have seen Thor have to say about it, the god of thunder himself has weighed in on the film, commenting that, "It's fantastic. Being that close to something, it's often pretty hard to watch yourself, but the film in so many ways is so impressive that I was swept along with it as an audience member, and that's usually a pretty good sign."

Here's the video of Chris Hemsworth talking about the film:

Of course, it's to be expected that Hemsworth would praise the film. Even if Thor turned out to be a train wreck, he would be committing career suicide if he were to admit it prior to the movie's release. So, as always, take these sorts of comments with a grain of salt. [MTV]

Last we heard about The Punisher, Marvel had reacquired the rights and president of production Kevin Feige hinted that "various plans are in the works". Now Ray Stevenson, star of the most recent addition to the franchise Punisher: War Zone, has admitted to speaking with Marvel about doing another Punisher. Is Marvel planning to bring Stevenson back for another round of vigilante mayhem? The actor says he'd love to return, but warns that "It's way out of my hands." Punisher: War Zone performed horribly at the box office, so it seems unlikely that Marvel would continue down that route, but I suppose we'll find out soon enough. [Cinema Blend]

A deal was made last summer between Mandeville Films and Top Cow Productions to turn the action comic book Crosshair into a feature, and now there's finally been some movement on the project. Summit Entertainment is said to be in final talks to pick up the film, which centers around a former CIA assassin turned suburban superdad who has 48 hours to reverse a program inside his brain from turning him into an unstoppable killing machine aimed at the President of the United States. Sounds ridiculous. Can't wait.

Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman (The Muppets, The Fighter) are still the producing team behind the pic, and they're brought on a new writer named Morgan Foehl to adapt the comic. [Collider]

It's been several years since we learned that Marvel had tapped the famous Japanese animation studio Madhouse to create four anime series based on their properties (all written by renowned writer Warren Ellis), and this year we're finally going to get to see the fruits of their labor. There have already been teasers for Wolverine and Iron Man, and below we have our first look at X-Men. The series is set "a year after the death of Jean Grey as the disbanded X-Men are summoned by Charles Xavier to find the abducted Hisako Ichiki (aka Armor) and confront the U-Men, the mutant organ-stealing cult".

Here's the teaser:

You can check out the poster and some image highlights below, but there are more screencaps — along with character art — over at Spinoff Online.

The X-Men anime will premiere in Japan this April, while English-language versions of Iron Man and Wolverine will premiere in the US this summer on G4. X-Men and Blade will follow. [Spinoff]

The lawsuit filed by the Jack Kirby estate to regain copyright ownership of 45 characters created and co-created by Kirby (including the Fantastic Four, Captain America, the X-Men, Iron Man and Thor) has been ongoing for several years, and now Stan Lee's deposition for the case has been made public. It's incredibly in-depth, and despite Lee's poor memory — of events that took place nearly 50 years ago, mind you — provides some pretty fascinating insight into the creation of these characters and the origins of the Marvel Universe.

Here's an excerpt of the testimony, the rest of which you can find at Bleeding Cool.

Q. Let's focus on The Avengers. How did The Avengers come about? First, tell us who The Avengers are.

STAN LEE: Well, they're anybody that we wanted to put in the group of our own heroes. I don't even remember who they were in the first issue. It might have been Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Daredevil. I don't even remember because we kept changing the roster each month, whoever we felt like.

But the idea was that they were organized by — I don't remember which of our heroes organized. Oh, they got together and decided to become a fighting team. Again we wanted something like The Justice League that DC had.

Q. And who came up with the back story for The Avengers?

STAN LEE: There really wasn't much back story. I did, but just the idea that they all get together and form a group. Because I didn't have to create new characters. We had them. I just needed an excuse for them to get together. And honestly I forget what the excuse was now.

You can also read the depositions of others involved such as Larry Lieber, Roy Thomas, John Romita and Mark Evanier. [Bleeding Cool]